Innovation in the Materials and Manufacturing Space at UBC Okanagan
The Faculty of Applied Science School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia celebrates Manufacturing Month in Canada (October) by hosting the Canadian Manufacturing and Exporters Workshop on October 4, 2017.
As part of Manufacturing Month in Canada, we look at some of the research initiatives currently underway:
Creating Manufacturing Technologies of Tomorrow
Engineering Professor Homayoun Najjaran and his team of researchers at the Advanced Control and Intelligent Systems (ACIS) Laboratory on the Okanagan campus of UBC are building upon Industry 4.0, the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, to help create the factories of the future. Bringing researchers together from a variety of disciplines including image recognition and industrial design, the ACIS is improving the efficiencies of their partners’ industrial facilities.
Collaborating to make a Difference
While most people may know Kal Tire as a tire retailer, the Vernon-based company has diversified to include mining and manufacturing services on five continents. Last year, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group entered into a memoradum of understanding with UBC Okanagan to pursue research and innovation. The projects include research in robotics and metallurgical design to environmentally-responsible ways to use recycled crumb rubber. Lukas Bichler, Associate Professor of Engineering, says they are “working together to develop better materials that out-perform the existing benchmarks, while using materials that are cheaper to manufacture and easier to manufacture.”
Striving to Broaden Materials & Manufacturing Research
The new Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute launched in July 2017 within the Faculty of Applied Science. The Institute, headed by Professor Abbas Milani, will create linkages between researchers from traditionally distinct disciplines to co-create and launch large-scale strategic research projects in the core and applied materials and manufacturing domains. The five pillars of focus for the Institute will be: Aerospace & Transportation, Biomedical, Building & Construction, Electromagnetic & Nanoscale and Polymer & Natural Materials and Manufacturing.
Securing a Better Cargo Strap System
The Composite Research Network’s Okanagan node at UBC is handling testing for Kelowna-based KF Aerospace’s new strap material and assembly system. The material and assembly system must undergo extensive mechanical testing to ensure it meets or exceeds Transport Canada’s requirements in the areas of exposure to natural elements such as sunlight and humidity as well as flammability resistance. If the system passes the testing stage, it will be installed in aircraft to secure cargo for extended flights.